Church bells ring to mark 2nd anniversary of Bohol quake
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Philippines — For 33 seconds, church bells rang in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, on Thursday, to commemorate the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake that brought this province to its knees.
Remaining churches in Bohol pealed their bells at 8:12 a.m., the time when the earth shook and killed 222 people and destroyed or damaged homes, places of worship and public infrastructure.
A holy Mass was then held at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Tagbilaran City, which was officiated by Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran. Some provincial and local officials from the province attended the mass.
In his Homily, Medroso reminded the Boholanos that God would never forsake His people.
“There is a God who can shake our province, who can shake our house and who can shake our building… But despite the event, let us not forget the goodness and greatness of God,” said Medroso.
Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto in his message said Thursday’s event was day of prayers and thanksgiving.
“We commemorate the strongest and biggest earthquake in history that changed the landscape of our province. We have learned lessons from that horrible experience that made us stronger as a people,” said Chatto.
He said that in the midst of recovery, the province’s tourism, agriculture and investment sectors have managed to make some progress.
Bohol is still in the process of rebuilding the province, according to Chatto.
The churchgoers then observed a minute of silence to pray for those who died while their names were displayed on the white screen inside the church.
After the Mass, a photo exhibit was formally opened at the Bohol Cultural Center. The exhibit will run from from Oct. 15 to 27.
“The stories captured in these photographs will remind us of what happened two years ago and our efforts to build back a better Bohol,” said Ma. Louella Lucino, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial director.
The exhibit showcased the interventions of the various clusters comprising the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and from other government agencies, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), cultural heritage and civilsociety organizations(CSOs).
But for others, Thursday was a painful reminder of the loved ones they lost in the earthquake.
“We will always remember them in our hearts,” said Rodel Barace of Antequera town. Four of his family members died after they were swallowed by a giant crack in Antequera.
The Barace family visited their departed relatives in the cemetery and brought flowers and offered prayers. SFM